Illinois honors communities for fluoride levels

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Health officials are recognizing 430 Illinois communities for maintaining state-mandated fluoride levels in drinking water.

The Illinois Department of Public Health presented the awards Monday in Springfield.

Health experts say drinking fluoridated water from birth can reduce tooth decay by up to 65 percent. The department's director, Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, says fluoridation saves money for families and the health care system.

In Illinois, nearly all residents served by public water systems get the benefit of fluoridated drinking water, compared to the current national average of about 72 percent.

©2016 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.